A high-flying businessman accused of punching his girlfriend in the face will have to wait to fight the charges after more evidence came out against him and a third charge was laid.
Marco Furia was initially charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after his partner Rosella Veraldi told police she was knocked unconscious in his Bondi home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on June 19.
Ms Veraldi claims Mr Furia punched her in the head, causing her to suffer serious cuts and bruises.
The 42-year-old businessman was arrested at the scene and was refused bail, which was again refused by magistrate Ross Hudson at Waverley Local Court on June 20.
While in prison, Mr Furia’s lawyer asked police to locate CCTV footage of the incident, which was played in court and shows the businessman walking to the door of the building as Ms Veraldi trails behind him.
She then grabs him from behind and drags him by the arm.
The footage shows Ms Veraldi pushing Mr Furia before he turns and appears to make contact with her head with his elbow.
Ms Veraldi, who has not been charged with any offence, then falls to the floor and holds her head as Mr Furia walks away.
The hearing was set down for Tuesday when Mr Furia appeared in court on June 20, as it was a domestic violence-related offence and he was in custody at the time.
But after showing the CCTV footage to the court, Mr Furia was released on bail in early July.
When the matter was ready to be heard in court on Tuesday, a police prosecutor said an “issue had become evident”, meaning the case would run for more than one day.
“This is a matter that was set for hearing … it was probably set down with only a mini brief,” the prosecutor said.
Since then, the prosecutor said the brief of evidence had “grown substantially”, with additional CCTV, six police officers, the complainant and expert witnesses to be called.
“Admittedly, it has been cropped but there’s certainly substantial CCTV,” the officer said.
The court was also told a third charge had been laid, with Mr Furia accused of intentionally choking Ms Veraldi “with recklessness”.
Mr Furia’s lawyer told the court the matter would go between one and two days and the delays “were nobody’s fault”.
Mr Hudson said with only three hours of court time left on Tuesday, the second day of the hearing may not be for another year.
“Both parties agree that effectively further evidence has been provided,” the magistrate said.
“This is a matter in my view where it’s appropriate to adjourn this matter and vacate today’s hearing date.”
Mr Hudson adjourned the matter to Friday at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court, where it will be given a two-day special fixture date.
Mr Furia’s lawyer made an application for the costs of Tuesday, saying the prosecution had “acted unreasonably”, with the new evidence laid at a “late stage”, and the new charge caused “the matter to blow out”.
The magistrate did not agree with the application, saying the matter was set down for hearing at the first mention with the information that was available.
“The matter has now moved to the Downing Centre – the reason for that is to reduce the delay, to reduce the wait time,” Mr Hudson said.
“I do not find parties incurred additional costs … both sides were ready to run today – the situation is the delay that will follow.
“For those extemporary reasons I am of the view the costs are formally refused.”
Mr Furia will return to court on Friday.